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Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES) Hypersensitivity

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Post to this topic if you are concerned that you may be experiencing an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity) after a drug-eluting stent (DES) procedure.

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Current Postings (113):

• 2014 I had a BM stent inserted after a 98% LAD blockage. Within 24 hours I had an odd sensation over my left pectoral like someone gently resting their hand on me. The weight of the sheet was uncomfortable too. In a week I developed a metallic taste, a sense of "not right" and heaviness in my arms. The heaviness subsided but the taste and unusual left pectoral sensation continued. After a month I started getting another sensation like someone poking their fingers in my chest. I was told it was anxiety even though I didn't have anxious thoughts and felt quite relaxed. (I was born with a compromised immune system and have suffered poor health all my life, this was just another challenge to contend with). The poking sensation continued until I presented at ER in Feb 2015. An angiogram showed I had a restenosis 95% blockage of the existing stent. They inserted a DE stent inside the original and the poking immediately ceased, however the pectoral sensation went from irritating to chronic pain and heart attack symptoms 24/7 for the last 8yrs. I believe I have a stent intolerence given my poor immune system. Cardios say no but don't offer any explanation why Im so ill. Any ideas?
Rod F, Victoria, Australia, September 7, 2022

• Complications that are associated with a stent placement inlcude restonosis of the artery, stent thrombosis, hypersensitivity reaction to the stent. Stents are made of metals such as steel L 316, nickel, chromium, platinum, cobalt, gold, and are coated with polymers PCL, PLA, PGA, PLGA, PLLA, PDLLA, and drugs used in drug eluting stents may include sirolimus, everolimus, biolimus, paclitaxel, etc. Allergic reactions to metals are commonly seen with nickel, but can also occur with steel, cobalt, chromium, etc., and this happens as the molecules of the metal are slowly released into the blood, and the inflammatory reaction is initiated by the cells lining the inner wall of the artery. These hypersensitivity reactions can be seen as cutaneous manifestations seen as skin rashes and hives, and extracutaneous manifestations such as fever, and anaphylaxis. In individuals with these hypersensitivity reactions the symptoms may usually develop 2 weeks after the implantation, and can persist for 30 days or even longer.
Skedoc, Hyderabad, India, August 26, 2022

• I just had a stent put in a minor artery, I had hives and itching very soon after surgery. I am so itchy and scratched open from uncontrolled itching, can't find and answer to the problem, tried steroids helped but soon as I stopped rash came back. Just found this web site I do believe it is allergic reaction to stent, I will be looking into this more, before I go out of my mind from the itching.
Patt007, Douglassville, Pennsylvania, USA, September 5, 2021

• Hello last year I had angioplasty done that was suppose to dissolve 3 months later in heart. About week after came down with blistery rash itching like crazy. I been treated by family Dr. With histamines and predisone nothing seems to help. I also have been taken Clopidogrel since I had a stroke 4 yrs ago. Can this be the reason because i'm still on Clopidogrel (plavix). Why aren't doctors aware. Why after a year and 2 months I still have this rash.
Dori, Pennsylvania, USA, April 17, 2021

• My mother, who is 70 years old and allergic to sulpha-drugs, had an angioplasty done on the 1st of April, during which two Xpience/Xpedition and one Onyx DES were used for revascularization.She was discharged from the hospital on the 4th of April and has been complaining of itching everywhere (whole body) since the evening of the 5th of April along with swelling in the feet. While both the itching and swelling have subsided, she still has severe sporadic bouts of itching especially after meals and at night before sleeping and sometimes even during the middle of the night.She has had her first medical check-up on the 12th and all her medical reports are also fine; her creatinine was 1.43 before the procedure and is 1.47 now. Can the new generation DES cause this itching? While she is taking an anti-allergy (Allegra 180) and applying oil and skin cream (Parasoft), can we do anything else to help reduce the itching? Is there anything else that we should avoid or be careful about? If the itching is an allergic reaction to her medication, the contrast dye or the DES, in how much time, on average, is the itching likely to go away?Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
Mr. Shingal, India, April 15, 2021

• I wish to thanks folks for discussing this issue. I am currently in a similar predicament. I have a known metal allery so severe I am allergic to needles, all stainless steel,all metals except 100% gold,silver,titanium. I can touch it I can't break my skin with it (Needles) or ingest it (well water,canned food n drinks, cookware, silverware). Per my dermatologist. It's an autoimmune allergy to metal with Lichen Planus rash, oral & nail lichen planus. It started when I broke my foot in 03. Had screws & plate put in.Took a month before rash appeared on 2nd surgery. 3rd surgery due to bone not healing, 4th surgery to remove all metal. Bone healed up in 4 weeks, rash flattened hrs after surgery & disappeared except in mouth in 2 wks. Had my metal fillings & crowns swapped out. I am in need of a couple of stents. Even though my allergy is well documented since 2003 & getting worse even on high dose steroids. Being exposed to(shots,scalpels,ivs etc.) makes next reaction worse. Dr.still doesn't believe it. Asked him to contact mfg to see about all titanium stent & lead wire, he won't. I don't know where to go since my blkgs are a real issue. Won't give up, shld not have to fight to live.
No, Nebraska, USA, September 18, 2019

• The doctor put in a stint [stent] in one of my bypass and didnt ask me if im allergy to nickle and i fought this for 9/1\2 years i been sick every day with something new/i cant fight it anymore . do you know if chelation would help thank you.
P, Texas, USA, September 15, 2019

• Jetelect - What type of allergic reaction? Is it in a specific location? One possibility is that you are allergic to metal, specifically nickel. See our Forum Topic on "Metal Allergies." Did you receive a vascular closure device, like Perclose or Angio-Seal? Some of those contain collagen, which some people are allergic to.

Carolg - (this might be relevant to Jetelect, as well) this rash-like presentation has been seen in some people as a hypersensitivity reaction to Plavix (clopidogrel). Sometimes these allergic reactions take a week or more to show up. Again, is your husband allergic to nickel. Most stents have nickel in them as an alloy component, although the amount of metal is quite small. By the way, do not stop taking clopidogrel because it's very important to keep blood from clotting inside the stent. Perhaps your cardiologist or vascular surgeon can prescribe a different antiplatelet drug to see if that's the problem.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 25, 2013

• My husband had a femoral artery stent put in in May 2013. One month later, he has broken out in an itchy rash over most of his body & has some minor shortness of breath. Vascular surgeon looked at it and said he knew nothing about rashes. His family physician prescribed prednisone. Is it feasible that if he is allergic to something in the stent and the symptoms would take a month to present?
Carolg, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, June 25, 2013

• Recently had a femoral artery stented and 2 weeks later went into the hospital with an allergic reaction. That was 2 weeks... Since then have been taking 20-30 mg @ day of prednisone steroid and Benadryl 100 mg +/- to be comfortable in my own skin. Ugh. Surgeon said he had never heard of such a reaction to the stent, but admitted to stitches possibly. ??? no confidence there. I don't have an answer as to what my course of action will be, but I cannot imagine someone living this way without relief.
jetelect, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, June 18, 2013

• Mustang1966 -- You're right. The Medtronic Resolute is the newest drug-eluting stent marketed in the U.S., so it's really a third generation stent. The hypersensitivity in the first generation stents was thought to be to the polymer which coated the metal stent. The newer polymers are more biocompatible. We've queried Dr. Marc Feldman of University of Texas San Antonio who was running a study of DES hypersensitivity and he's reported that he's seen no instances of this with the newer stents. Yet patients continue to post to this Forum with anecdotal evidence. Did your husband's symptoms start in March 2012? In our Forum Topic on "Metal (Nickel) Allergies to Stents", a few posters discuss where to get a test to see if there are allergies to any of these other metals as well as nickel. We have heard of patients being treated with steroids to reduce the allergic reactions. We assume your husband has visited an allergy specialist and had a full spectrum of tests. These types aof reactions are often very hard to diagnose. We know of a case where a patient suddenly developed severe food allergies, but the tests showed nothing. Turned out to be Lyme disease which activated these allergies. Once the Lyme was cured, the allergies disappeared! If any patients have suggestions for Mustang1966, please post. Thanks.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 24, 2013

• In reply to comments to Mustang1966 - Are there any recommended treatments for hypersensitivity? My husband isn't allergic to nickel but possibly to chromium cobalt or molybdenum which are the other metal material used in the Medtronic Resolute Integrity stents. He had four of them placed March of 2012 so I don't believe they are first generation stents?
Mustang1966, Boulder, Colorado, USA, May 23, 2013

• Mustang1966 -- Read our Forum Topic on "Metal (Nickel) Allergies to Stents". Is your husband allergic to nickel? Additionally, researchers we have worked with did see hypersensitivity reactions with some of the 1st generation stents (Taxus or Cypher) but not with the newer variety. As for removing the stents, this is not common, although it has been done. It's called endarterectomy resectioning of the artery; it's major surgery and has many complications, so it's not recommended unless absolutely necessary.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 22, 2013

• I believe my husband is allergic to his stents. He is completely off all meds except for aspirin because all the doctors believed it was the meds. Every day he feels like he has the flu. Muscle pain, cold spells, drained of all energy, burning sensation in his left side and back. He's been to countless doctors and naturopaths. It seems all point to the possibility of a reaction to the stents. But no doctor seems to want to step up to the plate and actually make a diagnosis. Telling people to put up with their symptoms is ridiculous or telling them that they never heard of anyone being allergic to their stents when there are forums like this with people listing their problems that began only after receiving their stents. So no one has ever heard of anyone having their stents removed? I would be interested if anyone ever has. Any surgeries done at research hospitals or Mayo clinic? Any research being done on allergies and stents?? Sign us up!
Mustang1966, Boulder, Colorado, USA, May 21, 2013

• I am [confirmed] allergic to my 2 stents - tried 5 doctors, acupuncture, herbal remedies, etc. No relief. Have constant burning in my back & upper body, 3 years duration, am weak, shaky, burning, palpitations, pain, etc. Anyone have a suggestion for me?????
Betty M., Cary, North Carolina, USA, April 1, 2013

• My husband, 62, received his 6th stent, Xience V, (2.5 x 28 mm to the circumflex) in Sept., 2012. Approx. 1 week after stenting he began itching severely, first in his groin area, and now it has spread all over his body. His other stents are ACS MultiLink, Cordis (?) He has 3 stents in the circumflex. He has never had any issues with any other stent. He has seen his primary care physician several times to get help for the itching and has tried prescription itching creams and medications, but nothing helps. He was taken off Effient, then Altace, but this hasn't helped, either. We've just read information online about the possibility of allergic reactions to stenting and wonder if this is his problem, and if so, what can be done to help stop the itching.
G212, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, February 12, 2013

• Butch in Maryland -- Can you tell us (1) what brand stent did your husband get? and (2) Does your husband have any known metal allergies? While there were reports of hypersensitive reactions to the polymers in the first generation of drug-eluting stents, we've been told by the University of Texas research team investigating this that they have not seen reactions with the newer stents. However, people with nickel or other metal allergies have written to this Forum about strange reactions. We have asked several leading cardiologists about this issue, but they have seen no hard evidence of significant reactions to metal in the stents. Also read our Forum Topic on "Metal (Nickel) Allergies to Stents". By the way, once implanted a stent cannot be removed. It gets covered by the endothelial cells and is incorporated into the artery wall. It also is possible that as this happens, any hypersensitivity reactions may lessen.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 5, 2013

• My husband got a stent in Sept.'12. He also has had severe reactions to either the stent or the meds. He has a rash that blisters, and dry flaking skin. His skin also feels like leather. He also has itching all over his body. After one blister heals, it seems like 3 or 4 more take its place. The rash started on his head, then his chest and back, and is now spread to his arms and legs. His feet and hands are now starting to peel. He has also had chest pain, tiredness and shortness of breath, and his eyes itch and burn. He has tried Plavix, Effient, Brilinta, and 2 other anti-platelet medications. The latest medication the Dr. gave him is Ticlid. The Dr. felt he was allergic to the anti-platelet meds. He hasn't taken any meds for 2 weeks, and the rash is still breaking out. We are also thinking that he is allergic to the stent, and will be seeing an allergist again soon. We would like to know if anyone has had their stent removed? His Dr. said it could be done as a last resort.
Butch, Cumberland, Maryland, USA, January 20, 2013

• Rafael in California -- What type of stents were these: drug-eluting or bare metal? And, if drug-eluting, what name? Xience, Resolute, Taxus??? While a relatively low incidence of hypersensitivity was seen in the first generation drug-coated stents, this has not been reported much in the newer devices. One possibility that has been reported by patients is an allergy to metal, specifically nickel, which is in pretty much all stents. See our topic on "Metal Allergies."
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 29, 2012

• I had (2) Stents put in 3 months ago. The three weeks I've developed itching all over my body, eyes burn U when I urinate it burns a little. I was told to stop taking the drugs for few days to see if it cleared up. It didn't. Can I be having trouble with the stents 3 months later? Drugs Effient 10 mg & Metoprolol tartrate 25 mg
RAFAEL Gar,Marina Del Rey, California, USA, July 29, 2012

• Lynnie Lou in England and others -- Most interesting. Check out our Forum Topic on Metal Allergies in Stents. There have been some studies on this issue that have not found any problems with this -- few cardiologists see metal or nickel allergy as an issue. We recently interviewed one of the authors of such a study and will soon be posting that. Obviously you and others have had a different experience. We think this needs more study!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 24, 2012

• Hurrah,my cardiologist believes that I am most probably allergic to the nickel in the stent I had put in after showing him pics of my rashes and a statement from Abbott Vascular who make the stent saying people with known allergy to nickel should not have stents fitted. I'm waiting for an appt. to see an allergist about desensitization. At last someone is listening to me. I've been through 6 months of hell with severe side effects from my meds and now the allergy to the stent
lynnie lou, Cheshire, England, July 17, 2012

• I've had a Xience V stent fitted and ever since I've had allergic reactions, first with my medication, so I came off everything but I'm still suffering with a nasty night cough that won't let me sleep at all. I've tried cough medicines and sleeping sitting up but still I cough, I also have a rash that appears in different places that are like scratch marks, also I've esophagitis which I have never suffered with before. I've since learnt that the stent that was put in contains nickel, I'm highly allergic to nickel so am wondering if it's that or the drug that the stent has on it that's the cause .
Lynnie Lou, Cheshire, England, June 25, 2012

• i had a couple of stents put in in 07 then open heart surgery in 08 then another stent in 09. Since the last stent a metal non medicated stent in 09 i have gained 50 lbs bloating is getting out of hand I'm in gym 5 days a week eating right cannot lose weight gaining. Throat is closing up at bedtime no one can help me i think its allergic reaction to stents in my body does anyone know of this can anyone help
Richie W, Yonkers, New York, USA, June 21, 2012

• I had a stent put in 15 years ago without any problems Until I started having chest pains 3 months ago. I was catheterized a week ago and 2 Medicine eluding stents were put into one artery. I was also put on Effient 20 Mg I had been taking aspirin for the last 15 years, Also put on Blood pressure med Toprol XL 25 Mg and Cozar 25 Mg. 4 Days after the latest stents I started to get itching on my upper torso down to my waist. It has been getting worse in the last two days and is getting hard not to scratch it. I am wondering after reading all the posts on the web site if it's the stents or meds. I am not allergic to anything as far as I know. I am 68 years old and in great physical condition 173 lbs 6'1" exercise and walk 3 miles a day. Any advice appreciated.
Ron, USN Retired, Pensacola, Florida, USA, June 17, 2012

• I am 42 yrs old,had a 70% blockage in my LAD, had the Promus/Everolimus stent placed in March 2012. Felt great other than leg sore. Few days later started itching on arms and butterflies in chest. Each day it got worse. Doctor took me off Effient, thought this was the cause, placed on Brilinta. After several trips to Dr and ER, ended up in hospital on 27th of March. Severe allergic reaction to stent, hives all over body and chest pain out of this world. To prove this fact I was taken off all of my meds, put on IV blood thinner (integrilin) along with 3 different antihistamines. Still broke out and chest pains. I have no metal allergies, never been allergic to ANYTHING. Dr said,after consulting with stent company and many other dr's all over, has to be Everolimus (med on stent) or the poly coating on stent. Wanted to do bypass surgery to remove stent and relieve symptoms. The Heart Association decided surgery was more risky than living with pain and treating with meds. Rash has gotten better but still have constant pressure along with stabbing pain in chest. Taking meds and trying to get back to normal life.
Mercury in Mississippi, Nesbit, Mississippi, USA, June 11, 2012

• Developed allergy post Angioplasty in 1997 & 2012
Forum of Post Angioplasty Patients, DHS, Govt of NCT of Delhi, Delhi, India, June 6, 2012

• Tooyoungforthis -- Just a note -- stents cannot be removed once placed. When did you get your stent placed?? There have not been many reports of allergic reactions to the Promus/Xience stent.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 2, 2012

• I'm 42 and had a Promus DES placed in the LAD artery - 80% blocked. I was diagnosed as type II diabetic and high BP in the same month, aside from high cholesterol. I am sensitive to drugs, so we had a hard time finding a combination. Effient, Aspirin, Lipitor, Verapamil, Albuterol,Protonix, Carafate, and Ativan. The Ativan is for the anxiety the doc's staff has caused by making me think my pain is in my head. The Protonix and Carafate are for heart burn/acid reflux because of the anxiety, also their guess to my chest pain. The albuterol- my brand new bronchial spasms. The Verapamil gave me my life back, reduced my pain and heaviness in my chest. If I stop the Verapamil, the discomfort comes back instantly. I didn't have bronchial spasms or heaviness in my chest, difficulty breathing, or sharp pains, before the stent. The doctors blame every symptom on anxiety or spasms- not confirmed with testing, just by medication relief. If all these people are experiencing similar symptoms, why isn't there a class action suit and testing in advance for allergies? I suggested I might be allergic and they gave me the same answer. "Never heard of allergies" And can a stent be removed if necessary?
tooyoungforthis, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, May 2, 2012

• K in Wisconsin: The stents are mostly Cobalt and then Chromium and only 10% nickel. I have some of the same symptoms including chest pain and swollen throat - all the time. Of course, the doctors don't want to admit that there are lots of patients/recipients who are allergic to the stents. Abbott Vascular is very cooperative about giving information, but I have not found anyone who suggests a treatment. They are permanently in and can't be removed. Often I feel like I am dying, no quality of life for over a year now. Acupuncture gives me a little relief, although I am almost out of money, as insurance doesn't cover it and I go twice a week.
Betty Boop, Sr., Cary, North Carolina, USA, April 26, 2012

Forum Editor - My information came from Abbott Vascular Labs and from Boston Scientific. Abbott sent me tons of information, I had replies from researchers in Asia, etc. Believe me, I bothered everybody in the past year. The info is on my saved e-mails and on correspondence sent to me at home. One doctor is Huang Ma. One lady from Abbott is Susan Hunter. they are all very cooperative in responding to me. Unfortunately, nobody has an answer or suggestion for treatment.
Betty Boop, Sr., Cary, North Carolina, USA, April 22, 2012

• I had a stent put in April 2010 and ever since than I have had irritation inside my mouth and down my throat also burning and choking feeling in my throat and chest and a feeling of heaviness on my chest I am allergic to cobalt and nickel I am wondering if I am allergic to the stent suggested that to my cardio Dr. He says never heard of anyone being allergic to stent not very satisfied will be seeking another opinion Interested to know if anyone else has these symptoms after receiving a stent? (cross-posted to "Metal Allergies to Stents")
K in Wisconsin, Cuba City, Wisconsin, USA, April 21, 2012

• Had stent placed in SVC in 2009. No problems. But had Cushing's so I was immunosuppressed. Noted increased swelling at base of neck on right and discomfort in SVC area during the next year. This increased to strong pressure in ears and neck. As cortisol came down post-Cushing's neck swelling and pressure in head and ears and throat and facial redness has increased. It looks and feels like the severe insect sting reactions that I have had in past. Have always been highly sensitive to Ni. Could this be caused by stent? How to test and what to do? (cross-posted to "Metal Allergies to Stents")
H, Huntington, New York, USA, April 18, 2012

• BettyBoop in North Carolina -- We'd certainly be interested in the study you quote about stent patients who were allergic. As we noted numerous times, the researchers we've worked with (and these are cardiologists who have studied allergic reactions to drug-eluting stents) feel that the reactions are pretty much limited to the first generation DES, like Taxus and Cypher. They have not seen reactions to the newer ones. Another area is allergy to metal (see related Forum Topic) but a study was just published that showed no difference in outcomes between patients with stents who were allergic to nickel or chromium and those who were not. We are working on a story about this right now.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 11, 2012

Joy and Heartattackgirl - I've come to the realization that we just have to live with it. No doc wants to help. I'm getting acupuncture @ $130 [cash] per wk which seems to help my chest pain and shaking. He is trying his best but no relief for the terrible burning. Can't we get someone for a class action suit?! I know there are more than just us. I read that in a study of 17 stent recipients who were allergic, 4 or 5 died.
BettyBoop, Sr., Cary, North Carolina, USA, April 11, 2012

• Brack2 -- We assume that you did not get drug-eluting stents (DES) -- most stents in the areas you are discussing are bare metal, so there's no polymer involved (but let us know the type, brand, etc.) which is what this topic is about. We have also cross-posted your question to our Forum Topic on "Peripheral Angioplasty". You might be allergic to the metal in the stents, but we have not heard of that causing excess blood clots (thomboses). Check out our related topic on "Metal (Nickel) Allergies" as well. Has there been any additional imaging (for example with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) to check on the stent placement and if there is full expansion of the stent or malapposition, where the stent has moved away from the vessel wall?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 6, 2012

• I had a DVT in my left knee. May-Thurners was found and treated. I now have 6 stents from the top of both iliac veins into the bottom of the ivc. They have occluded 3 times since DEC 11. I had clot buster done on me a month ago and i think it is happening again. I am taking Pradaxa 150mg X 2 daily. I have been on Coumadin, Lovenox, and arixtra. My DVT in my leg is gone but I only clot in the stents, on anti-coags. Starting to think it is an allergy. Dr.s here in Savannah don't know what it is. No genetic disorders found by 2 hematologists. Any thoughts from your experiences?
Brack2, Savannah, Georgia, USA, April 6, 2012

• I can identify with Heartattackgirl. I had 2 stents in April 2010 and worsening problems ever since. I first thought it was the Plavix, so it was discontinued and I've been getting worse since 4/11. I'm weak, fatigued, short of breath, chest pain, and a terrible burning in my back, which radiates up my neck and head - my eyes burn, I get a bad headache. my back feels like there is a hot iron pressing from inside of me. my cardio docs didn't believe me when I suggested being allergic to stents. So I want to an allergist and he found I was very allergic to chromium which is one of the metals in the stents. Now my cardio docs don't want to see me and say they can't help allergies. [as if to say just go away!] what a horrible response. I have no quality of life, I can't do anything,I had to quit my small business. If I exert myself at all, I end up staying in bed for 3 days to recuperate. Terrible!
Bettyboop, Sr., Cary, North Carolina, USA, April 1, 2012

• 2 stents 11/3/11 Boston Scientific ION Paclitaxel eluting platinum chromium have extreme burning in chest, stomach pain, tiredness tingling in body no appetite had numerous tests found nothing feel it is stents. Has anyone experienced these symptoms?
anndrew 49, Auburn, New York, USA, March 22, 2012

• 56 year old female, had RCA stent 9/10, had second stent put in same place 12/10 (restenosis 50%). Ever since the first stent was placed I have never felt "good". Have pain down back of neck, left shoulder, arm wrist. Diagnosed as artery spasms. Taking Plavix every other day, 81 aspirin every other day, 10 mg lovastatin, 40 mg verapamil 2X a day, 50 mg spironolactone 3 x a day, Isosorbide 30 mg 2X a day, COQ10, Krill, acidophilus. Artery spasms seemed better 9/11 - 01/12. But they have been worse again since January. I never had artery spasms (if that's what they are) before stents. Constantly in fear and anxiety over this on again off again pain for 2 years, is it the stents, the medicines? Does anyone have any ideas, i am really tired of it.
Ellen, New York, New York, USA, March 22, 2012

• Joy in Minnesota and IN in Kentucky -- rashes and itching are also a side effect of several drugs that are often prescribed after stenting, so it is possibly that. Another possibility is a metal allergy (usually to nickel). Nickel allergy can be tested for. As for allergies to the drug-eluting stents themselves (other than metal) researchers have told us that they have not seen these types of reactions with the second and third generation drug-eluting stents, such as Xience/Promus, Endeavor, etc. Check out the related topics in the right-column sidebar.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 19, 2012

• My husband has had 2 stents in heart. Oct. 1 2007. 3 days later, he broke out in a rash (back and chest mostly) it itches. and he had a stent put in Jan 9 of 09, he still has the rash and itch since the first stent was placed in his heart, been to many dr, they do not seem to know what the cause and no cure
joy, Minnesota, USA, February 18, 2012

• My husband has had the Promus stent just recently and within a period of 3 wks has started itching. He is suppose to have two more stints but if this is a reaction to the stint. What do we do?
IN Ky, Somerset, Kentucky, USA, February 15, 2012

• In October 2011 I had severe pain in the throat that finally led to the diagnose of blockage in one artery and had stent since then. Am on Plavix, Crestor, aspirin, pantazol & concor. Sometimes feel heavy bloating that would last for a week and then would disappear. The immediate worry to me is that I felt my voice has slowed down for the last three days. There is no pain as such in the throat, However when I put effort in continuous talking I felt short of breadth. Right now I want to know if any of the reader who had stent suffered the problem with their voice.
AI, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, February 11, 2012

• I had my first heart attack at 35 due to a 70% blockage in my LAD a taxus express 2 medicated stent was installed. Four months later I had another small mi, two months after that, I had another massive heart attack due to stent thrombosis, and started with numerous other symptoms. Severe coronary vasospasm, rash, migraines, nausea, anemia, fatigue, intestinal cramping, severe cramping in my uterus all of the time and 8 more heart attacks from the vasospasms. Now I have vasospasms through out my body, seen on many cardiac caths. In the last 7 years I have tried everything to figure out what is going on including discontinuation of medications to see if they could be the problem and nothing has worked. I never had any of these problems until after the stent was installed in my body.
Heartattackgirl, Felch, Michigan, USA, February 3, 2012

• AnnLee in Illinois -- Check out our topic on "MRI Safety and Stents." The Xience, as posted on, has a "Conditional 5" rating, which means it's safe, assuming specific guidelines or recommendations are followed, and at a strength of Tesla 3. We'd hope that the hospital doing your MRI followed the guidelines. As for titanium becoming radioactive, the ionized radiation from a CT scan (MRI has no radiation) is nothing like bombardment with deuterons, which is what is in heavy water. With deuterons, we're talking cyclotron level radiation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 23, 2012

My stent is DES Xience by Abbott Labs. I also noticed when I had imaging done of my heart, that it felt like a tug on my heart -- like it was being pulled towards imaging machine. I have had several CTs and at least 2 MRIs. The last imaging I had done is when I felt this. This has me worried due to info I read at Radioactive Potential Bombardment with deuterons can render titanium very radioactive. It will emit positrons and hard gamma rays.
AnnLee, Illinois, USA, January 22, 2012

• MaryL -- Cardiologists we have worked with regarding hypersenstivity reactions have not seen the kinds of allergic symptoms with the newer second generation stents (like XIENCE) that were seen in the first generation (CYPHER and TAXUS). Have you discussed these symptoms of fatigue and headache with your husband's cardiologist? If not you should and discuss any tests of your husband's heart function post-MI. By the way, regarding the headaches, we would not recommend taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) or similar medications as they may have an adverse effect on cardiac function.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 20, 2012

• Please answer a question for me regarding my husband: 65 year old male. 5' 9" 170 lbs. No issues with blood pressure nor cholesterol -- 5 stents total
CYPHER Sirolimus-eluting (Cordis Corp.) 1 on 1/31/08 2 on 2/26/08
Xience V (Abbott) 1 on 1/31/11 1 on 3/14/11
Severe reaction to Plavix (after 1st stent in 2008). Currently (once per day) Effient 10mg Aspirin 81mg
Initial MI January 2008, one emergency stent followed by 2 more. Felt terrific, back to full activities. Healthy diet and exercise (multiple cardio exercise classes per week)
Second MI January 2011. After first Xience V stent, never felt 'up to normal'. Continued healthy diet but did not resume exercise. Had bouts of extreme fatigue. In March 2011, second Xience V stent. Since then he has experienced bouts of fatigue though not as severe however, he now experiences severe migraine headaches. Before March, a headache was a rare occurrence (couple of times a year). Now they are nearly daily and are very severe. Is it possible that the headaches are an allergic reaction to the stent components?
MaryL, Dearborn Heights, Michigan, USA, January 20, 2012

• AnnLee -- As noted, we have not heard of such a reaction -- don't see how a stent could be a "conductor" as such. What brand of stent did you receive? And has anyone else had similar symptoms??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 20, 2012

• This is NOT just tinnitus. I have Googled tinnitus. No where have I found that it can produce electrical currents in heart, stomach, brain, skeletal frame. The stent seems to be acting as a conductor for this.
AnnLee, Illinois, USA, January 20, 2012

• AnnLee in Illinois -- This is not a known side-effect of drug-eluting stent. But aspirin is known to heighten tinnitus or ringing in the ears in some patients. If you Google "Aspirin and Tinnitus" you'll find numerous references that you can show your cardiologists to help them understand that this is a real problem. Perhaps a lower dose of aspirin would alleviate the ringing, yet still provide the antiplatelet effects you need after DES. That's for your cardiologist to decide -- and remember, don't alter your post-stent meds without discussing it with your cardiologist (some general practitioners may not be aware of the importance of continuing Plavix plus aspirin).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 12, 2011

• Does anyone have buzzing/beeping in ears after drug-eluting stent placement? Also, am experiencing electric current sensations in heart, ears, head (temples, upper lip, top of scalp)and in feet. It feels like I swallowed a cell phone set on vibrate. Caffeine, sugar, salt, exercise, stress cause these currents to intensify and noise in ears to get louder. I have asked cardiologist about these and he basically blew me off.
AnnLee, Flanagan, Illinois, USA, December 16, 2011

• Mike -- yours is not the typical type of reaction seen in hypersensitivity reactions to the stent polymer (of course, the documentation of such reactions is not very comprehensive, our site being one of the few places that this is discussed!) You mention the possibility of a metal allergy. Do you have one, for example, to nickel?? Do rings or other metals cause a skin reaction?? Another possibility is that you are reaction to one of the drugs you're on. But don't stop taking anything until you've discussed this issue with your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 31, 2011

• My husband 50 yrs old had a drug eluting stent put in and is very itchy and came off aspirin and switched from Metoprolol to Adalat and Ramipril. He takes Benadryl and it doesn't work. We have tried every cream imaginable and oatmeal baths etc., nothing is helping. This has been going on since a week out of the hospital, so for 3 mps. His feet are peeling, his body feels like its on fire. I am literally sweeping flakes of skin off the floor and have to shake the bedsheets every day. He cannot get a decent night's sleep because of his itching. Maybe it is a metal reaction to the stent. Thanks for the info. At least he knows that he is not alone in this.. We will look into this further.
Mike, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada!!, December 25, 2011

• Worried daughter -- We have discussed these issues with cardiologists who have been researching allergies to drug-eluting stents and they have not been finding the types of reactions they've seen in the first generation stents in the newer ones (such as Xience/Promus). And the extreme symptoms your mother is having would seem to point to something else, although the fact that her medications have not changed sort of rules that out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 6, 2011

• My mother had a cardio infarction 8 years ago and has received a pacemaker and 6 non coated stents through the years and done well. Four weeks ago she another stent because of blockage and a stent cleaned. The new stent is a Xience V and since the insertion she has had nothing but problems. First day home was vomiting and chills, vomiting gone after 2 days but often times still has chills. She has a rash on her hands that she says itches like poison ivy. She has extreme fatigue and a difficult time breathing,she can no longer walk more than 20 feet without heavy breathing and having to rest. She has lost her appetite and lost 11 pounds. She is on the same medications and nothing new has been added. They are Plavix, aspirin, metoprolol,Propaferone HCI, Alprazolam,Isosorbide Mononitrate. She does have allergies to red and green food dyes, that will cause hand rashes. I can not believe the change in my mother in just 4 weeks. I took her to her family doctor and her cardiologists and they are not concerned. Her cardio Dr. said maybe she got a virus from the hospital and is still fighting it. I am so distressed over her declining condition, I believe it is the stent...Am I crazy?
Worried daughter in Michigan, Clarkston, Michigan, USA, November 1, 2011

• Mary B in Pennsylvania -- Check out our Forum Topic on "Plavix, Aspirin and Stents". Guidelines are for one year minimum after drug-eluting stent placement. You should discuss this with your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 15, 2011

• Is it essential to stay on Plavix forever, or only for a limited period after stent placement? I have been told I will be on it for the rest of my life, but seem to be having allergic reactions.
Mary b., Beaver, Pennsylvania, USA, August 12, 2011

• Would it be appropriate for me to contact Dr. Feldman's office by phone? I sent him an e-mail but I have not received a response. I am just trying to find answers...Thank you for your interest.
Ohio Bob, Ashland, Kentucky, USA, May 15, 2011

• heart attack march 3 2010. Had 3 Xience v stents implanted since then always tired chest pain mild to sharp sometimes feels like something poking out. developed shortness of breath to the extreme that when i speak i gasp can not complete a sentence w/o gasping , activities are poor due to the breathing/gasping happens only when exerting myself have had 7 catheterizations since march 2010. something is seriously wrong but doctors can not figure it out. been in in out of emerg. rooms. getting very tired of this daily/frustrating way that i now have to live by. in Sept. 2010 cath done stents 30/50/30 blocked, stents are now 50/70/50 % blocked in just over a year from scarring that these stents are suppose to the math i should be in hospital by Nov. this year...LOL. Any guess's as to what may be my issue. I have had test after test to try to figure this out bubble study stress tests ekg's pft's, blood work you name it i probably been tested for it or put on some type of medication as a try.
Brian, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, May 10, 2011

• My “kid” sister, age 65, recently had three DES Xience-V stents implanted on 2/28/2011, followed by an Aspirin/Plavix regimen. In 2007 she had three uncoated stents implanted in her right femoral artery. (She never “felt right” after the Feb. 28th stent insertion.). She is in a constant “allergic state” w extreme fatigue and her doctors are puzzled. (She has a “known” topical allergy to nickel.) Here’s a chronology of what’s happened: March 1st tingling in her arms/legs begins; 3/15 major rash with blotching all over her body – Dr switches to Effient (20 mg daily); 4/13 she's rushed to ER in anaphylactic shock – presumed allergic reaction to Effient? – Dr. places her on Ticlid 500 mgm BID; 4/17 severe muscle pain arms/legs – tingling in most nerve endings; 4/20 Dr. prescribes Prednisone; 4/30 itching begins on bottom of feet – Drs. going back to Plavix w Prednisone! WOW? Any ideas?
ConcernedBro, Kingwood, Texas, USA, April 30, 2011

• Dee in Ohio -- Check out our Forum Topic on "Metal Allergies to Stents" as well. Hypersensitivity reactions are hard to find precise causes for but, as you can read in this and related topics, they certainly exist. Do you know the exact brand of stent that you got? Also, as you will read in the topic on Metal Allergies, every stent has a package warning (called a DFU or IFU) about people who are allergic to metals. Have your doctors tried to treat you with steroids like prednisone or cortisone??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 30, 2011

• I had stents (drug eluting stents) back in Feb 2010. within 4 weeks I have swelling in my belly, noids that appear with activity and can get quite large. I am allergic to all metals. I am worried that I am having a severe reaction to the stents. My stomach burns 24 hours a day. They recently did a breast biopsy and injected markers. All symptoms have gotten worse. It is as though my body is saying to get these out. This has interfered in my quality of life. I was told not to laugh, clean my house, and to take it easy. They have done ct scans they say show nothing. When I bring up the possibility of allergy they get angry and say they have never heard of any reactions. They say I must learn to live with it. We have reduced or stopped medication to see if this was cause. I consume under 800 calories a day and try to be as active as possible. I have continued to gain weight. My stomach looks as though I am 8 months pregnant with lumps. please help.
Dee M., Akron, Ohio, USA, April 30, 2011

• I am 53 male and had two Xience stents placed in LAD and RCA on March 27th, 2011. Since then I have suffered intermittent lip swellings, weals and tongue swelling once, treated with short course of steroids. A month later I have started having lip swelling again and I suspect this is due to the drug eluting stents. Ten years ago I had a bare mental stent with out any reactions. I doubt if plavix, aspirin, lopressor or lisinopril I have had for years has any thing to do with it. I stopped Lisinopril just in case but I doubt if it had any thing to do with it. i am interested in exploring this further and wonder what would be the best forum to find out more about it.
Jersey male, Trenton, New Jersey, USA, April 27, 2011

• Ohio Bob -- Most interesting and thank you for your reply. The first link to the DFU (Directions for Use) of the PROMUS (a.k.a. XIENCE) second generation DES contains the standard warning that a given patient may be allergic to one or more parts of the stent. The second link to our article on Angioplasty.Org/PTCA.Org reports on Dr. Feldman's study from 2005 and the NEJM link contains a comment from Dr. Kounis in Greece, who we have also been in contact with over the years. Both of these publications were pre-second generation stents and, as we mentioned below, Dr. Feldman said that yours was the first case of such a polymer reaction that he had heard of. So, assuming the other issues have been ruled out, this is a new phenomenon...we will forward your comments to others and let you know what, if anything, we find out. Thanks again for reporting this. We wish we could offer you some relief. Perhaps discuss this with your allergist and have him/her consult with your cardiologist. We've been told that cortisone or other steroid can sometimes relieve allergic symptoms like this, but that's a matter for your MD's to discuss.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 27, 2011 This mentions allergies to the fluoropolymers as a cause of allergic reactions. does not specify first or second generation stents.

nor does:

By the way - I was admitted to the hospital last week for extreme swollen legs (thighs down) and difficulty breathing after a weight gain of 5 lbs in a week and 10 in a month. I was put on lasix and potassium at discharge. Their reason: Because it has gotten hotter now and I'm older and overweight. (I am 48 and I weigh only 170 lbs and the temperature had been in the 60's by day. Other than CAD - i have no other medical conditions) Locally they still will not recognize this as an allergic reaction to the stent polymer.
Ohio Bob, Ashland, Kentucky, USA, April 26, 2011

• Ohio Bob -- We forwarded your post to Dr. Marc Feldman at University of Texas, San Antonio (he was a co-author of the original paper we reported on back in 2005, and his team has been conducting research on hypersensitivity to the polymers on DES). He wrote us back immediately: "Interesting. This is the first allergic reaction I have heard of with the second generation DES." Again, where did you find information about reactions to the newer stents?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 25, 2011

• Ohio Bob -- Thanks for posting this. It's the first we've heard of this type reaction with the newer second generation stents, like Promus (a.k.a. Xience). We were getting posts from a number of patients about problems after Cypher or Taxus stents and we were sending patients to a research project at the University of Texas that was doing a study of these reactions. They've told us that, while they were definitely seeing hypersensitivity reactions to these earlier polymers (and, yes, it WAS the polymers) the problem seemed to have stopped with the newer drug-eluting stents (DES) which are much thinner. We'll contact them about your post. As to the polymer, it is a permanent polymer and doesn't "wear off" --although it eventually gets covered over by endothelial cells. Curious to know where you read about reactions to the newer polymers?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 23, 2011

• I had four stents prior to Dec 2010. In 2010 I had a different type stent: the Promus stent. 11 days later I developed a severe allergic reaction - severe generalized itching and rash; swelling of hands, feet; difficulty swallowing; [many tests performed and biopsy performed all confirm severe allergic reaction].. Patch testing and allergy testing ruled out over 100 causes including the metal and the drug in the stent; leaving the polymer as the suspected culprit. Also ruled out were the medications I take. Allergic reactions to the newer polymers does occur. The question is will they "go away" when the polymer "wears off" (approx 11 months)?
Ohio Bob, Ashland, Kentucky, USA, April 22, 2011

• Dario -- Please excuse us if we reply in English. Yes, the Catania stent is named for the region in Sicily where it has been researched, most thoroughly by Dr. Corrado Tamburino and his team (Dr. Tamburino is Past President of GISE, the Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology). Catania is manufactured by a U.S. company, CeloNova BioSciences. The stent is coated with NanoThin Polyzene®-F, a biocompatible polymer that shields the bare metal struts, reducing interaction with platelets. The ATLANTA Trial, presented in 2008, showed no stent thrombosis after 12 months in 55 patients, even though DAPT was discontinued after 3o days. In a 2009 interview in CathLab Digest, Dr. Tamburino discusses this more. The Catania has only a CE Mark approval (Europe) and is not available in the U.S. There are a number of registries being conducted with larger patient cohorts. is currently only approved in Europe. It is said that the Catania is somewhere in-between a bare metal stent and a drug-eluting stent, yet it is neither. Another stent that "may" not require long term DAPT is Medtronic's Endeavor, which IS approved in the U.S. -- Endeavor is a true DES that currently is being studied for safety at 3 and 6 month duration of DAPT (read our interview with Brazilian cardiologist, Dr. Fausto Feres).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 6, 2011

• sapete che esiste uno stent di nome Catania che elimina la doppioa terapia antiaggregante piastrinica ad un mese? [Ed. translation: "Do you know that the Catania stent reduces dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) to one month?"]
Dario, Tuscany, Italia, March 6, 2011

• Three Stents from Massachusetts -- you said you stopped taking Plavix after one year, but you just had the stents placed less than 5 months ago (Oct 2010). We assume you received drug-eluting stents (DES). Recommendations for DES are Plavix and aspirin for a year minimum to avoid serious blood clots in the stents. What brand of stents did you get? And how long after getting the stents did these symptoms appear?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 28, 2011

• In Oct 2010 I had three stents placed. I was taking plavix, aspirin 325, lipitor 80, lisinopril, metoprolol. After one year i stopped plavix down to aspirin 81mg and 2.5mg of lisinopril and 40mg lipitor. During that year i had a bad bloody nose, muscle ache and knees problem. Now i have rash and itch, ringing ears, constipation and little fatigue, all blood test comes back with in average even with low cholesterol. why do i have these these symptoms?
three stents patient, Revere, Massachusetts, USA, February 27, 2011

• Suzyq in Florida -- In the TRITON-TIMI 38 trial Effient (prasugrel) was found to be somewhat more effective than Plavix (clopidogrel) as an antiplatelet drug, but it also showed a higher risk of bleeding. Standard antiplatelet therapy after DES calls for aspirin plus either Plavix or Effient for a year, assuming there are no bleeding complications. The reason for aspirin in com bination is that aspirin and the other drug work in different ways to keep blood clots from forming, so the combination is more effective. Effient is a relatively new drug, approved by the FDA in July 2009. If you are concerned, you jight want to ask your cardiologist whether a combination of Plavix and aspirin might cause less bleeding than Effient and aspirin. Also read the Forum Topic on "Plavix, Aspirin and Stents".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 6, 2011

• I recently had a promus DES placed 2 weeks ago to the mid RCA. I was placed on effient 10mg daily and 81mg asa daily, along with lisinopril, and bisoprolol, My problem is I noticed blood in my urine. I went to my primary doctor who thought I may have a urinary tract infection and was placed on bactrim. I continued to have bleeding and contacted my cardiologist's PA who told me to stop the aspirin which I did and I haven't noticed any frank blood in my urine. I am worried that my stent is going to restenose because I'm not taking the aspirin. Is this a fair assumption? Thanks.
Suzyq, Florida Hospital RN, Orlando, Florida, USA, February 5, 2011

• Karen in Maine -- you might be experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction to one or more meds. Itching may be a side effect of Plavix or simvastatin, but you should not stop taking either unless your cardiologist says so. There are other antiplatelet meds that he/she might consider instead of Plavix: ticlopidine (older) and prasugrel (Effient -- newer) that may not have these effects on you. Same with a different statin. The statin you could probably go off safely (with your doctor's approval, of course) but antiplatelet meds like Plavix are very important to continue taking.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 25, 2011

• Had a heart attack on Christmas Morning MI RCA 95% blocked and LAD 85% bare metal stent put in on Saturday the other the following Monday morning. It is now January 17th and I have itching palms in the morning and itching feet in the p.m. Could I be having an allergic reaction 25 days later? I am on plavix, metoprolol, aspirin, and simvastatin.
Karen, Shapleigh, Maine, USA, January 17, 2011

• Scared in Ohio -- What type of stent was it? Such an immediate reaction would seem to point more to a drug or other allergy. Did he suddenly begin taking any new meds? He may also have been reacting to meds given during the procedures.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 17, 2011

• My father had a mild heart attack on 12/25/10, on 12/27/10 a stent was inserted. He woke with problems swallowing, and is currently in Hospital. EGD was done and found no issues. Hands are swollen, feet swollen, and still has severe trouble swallowing, His rash comes and goes. Swallowing test done with no problems. now is being sent too see a RA Dr. and neurologist. he hasn't taken plavix or lipitor for a few days but still has severe pain in joints. This all scares us because no one has an answer to these problems. we miss our loving father and grandfather. Why is it so hard to get a straight answer now a days.
Scared in Ohio, Madison, Ohio, USA, January 15, 2011

• George from Clermont -- are you having any symptoms? Nuclear stress tests can show a false positive -- when you do go for an angiogram, if a blockage is seen in more than one area, you might want to discuss the use of FFR to determine whether the blockage really is "flow-limiting" -- if not no stent is really needed. As for bare metal vs DES, the advantage of DES is significantly less restenosis, especially in long blockages, or barrow arteries, etc. Depending on these and other characteristics, a DES may or may not have a great advantage over a bare metal stent (BMS). Also BMS requires a shorter period of antiplatelet therapy (Plavix and aspirin) -- actually a year is a long time for BMS.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January15, 2011

• I have a Cypher stent from 2007. I am due for an angiogram at my convenience since my nuclear stress test showed an abnormality. Long story short the Cardiologist is asking me what I want a bare metal or a DES when I have the angiogram in the event I need another stent. So my question is do I request a bare metal stent, a duplicate cypher stent or a new advanced DES? I have not seen any tests or data on mixing stents. similar to drugs are there any interactions with the DES chemical? I am leaning to a bare metal since I had no issues with the DES, no restenosis, and can afford the Plavix. A side benefit to the bare metal stent is I can get off the Plavix in one year rather than 2 + years with the DES. I have suspicions some of my slow muscle healing (I have back pain and plantar faciatus) is due to plavix. I had hoped to drop Plavix this year but the new nuclear test kabashed that. Otherwise I am very healthy.
GeorgeClermont, Clermont, Florida, USA, January 13, 2011

• Reeny from San Diego -- Read our response to Mr. Ed from yesterday. FYI, the PROMUS is identical to the XIENCE stent (PROMUS is manufactured by Boston Scientific under a license agreement with Abbott, who makes the XIENCE). As mentioned, the cardiologist who we've been working with on the drug-eluting stent hypersensitivity study feels that the problems he's seen have to do with the polymer on the stent -- but they've not seen this problem with the second generation DES, namely Endeavor, XIENCE or PROMUS. Perhaps, if you have a metal allergy (i.e. nickel) that may be a factor. However, what's interesting is that you had no problems with the Taxus, Cypher or bare metal stents -- all of which would be of more concern (all have higher nickel content and polymers that are less "advanced"). And again, hypersensitivity reactions to drug-eluting stents are pretty rare. We are wondering if you started on any new medications after this latest stent. Statins, in particular, have been known to cause joint pain. Maybe discuss your medication regimen with your cardiologist. Speaking of whom, we have no way of knowing the progression that led to him "storming out of the room", but we definitely support patients asking questions about their therapy and feel doctors need to take the time to answer them. As for whether your blockage was 60% or whatever, there is controversy about how this is measured. Check out out recent blog entry, "Fractional Flow Reserve and Stents", as well as our just-posted interview with Dr. William Fearon of Stanford.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 9, 2010

• I had a Promus 3.0x12mm stent placed in my left main June 2010. Since that time my back has gone out, both knees give out or lock up, the bottoms of both my feet (under my second toe) are so sore that I can't wear shoes, or walk. A podiatrist had my left foot in a boot for two months with no change. Now my right foot has same problem. My fingers are painful at the joints. I feel if it keeps going this way I will be wheel chair bound w/in a year. I have had Taxus, bare metal and Cypher stents in past, they all restenosed, but I never had this joint problem. I am not diabetic, nor significantly overweight. I have never had these kinds of problems in the past. No one is looking at the stent being the problem! I know they can't get the stent out, so what can be done? It says right on the product information that the stents shouldn't be placed in people with hypersensitivity to cobalt, chromium, nickel, fluoropolymers. I was not tested for any of this things. Additionally, I was against any more stents, the left main was stented at a 60% blockage that had been present with no change in for 9 years. When questioning doctor about it he go angry and stormed out of room. What can I do now? Thanks
Reeny, San Diego, California, USA, December 9, 2010

• Mr. Ed from North Carolina -- We responded to this query from the post you made on our Forum Topic about Plavix and Stents. There are a number of possibilities, although the cardiologist at University of Texas who has been studying allergic reactions to drug-eluting stents (DES) has told us that they have not found this issue with the second generation DES, such as Medtronic's Endeavor or Abbott's XIENCE.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 8, 2010

• 53 very active, athletic guy. Had 3 Xience V DES implanted on August 6, 2010 after a stress test showed an 'issue'. First attempt ended up in surgery to remove the catheter which 'somehow' coiled and kinked so it could not be removed from my right femoral artery. vascular surgeons did their magic and removed it (nice scar). Next morning they went up my left femoral artery and fixed the one (and only) 100% blockage in the Right descending. I had very few symptoms as my body had already 'bypassed' this with extensive 'collateral' arteries. Anyway left the hospital on 75 mg Plavix, 80 mg Simvastatin (Zocor), 25 mg Toprol XL and 325mg aspirin. Developed an itchy skin rash within days of being released from the hospital. It has progressively gotten worse. New cardiologist took me off Simvastatin and wants me on Lipitor when my skin condition subsides, but my skin is just getting worse. I've tried every topical imaginable and take benadryl at night when the itching is unbearable. I've read here about similar reactions - is it the Plavix? The new cardiologist has switched me off Toprol to an ACE inhibitor - Ramipril. Toprol was dropping my already low pulse (54) to 42.
Mr. Ed, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, December 8, 2010

• CD from New Jersey -- We're so sorry for the late reply. We are behind in responding because we are just underfunded -- or we should say UN-funded. In any case, your stent would not be a drug-eluting coronary stent, but a different kind of stent, much larger in diameter if it was placed in your aortic arch. Usually these types of stents are used to fix an aneurysm or an injury. However, it certainly sounds like you are having some type of hypersensitivity reaction. If he had cut a nerve, we don't think you'd be having the swelling, fever, etc. Maybe an immunologist could help here. Do you have allergies to metal? Because stents are usually made of surgical stainless steel, which has a significant component of nickel. Can you tell us exactly the name and brand of the stent used?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 7, 2010

• I am a 42 year old woman who 3 days ago had a stent placed in my lower distal aorta, it was at least 80 percent blockage (from the outside pushing it in). My doctor first told me I should get a resection, because of my age and then in the next visit said he did some research and decided for the stent. Even though this doctor did not get good recommendations, I went with him, because I am a police officer and need to get back to work. I was under general during the procedure, all went fine, I came out a little pain in my left groin where it was placed. During that night I reached a 103 fever and my face swelled up so bad my eye was shut. When I began to walk, I have a sharp stabbing pain in my lower thigh (no where near he went in) This pain in minutes rotates to my lower back until I basically can not walk. My left leg is swollen and hot, but I was sent home, with him saying maybe I cut a nerve? I can take pain, but honestly if I had to live with this I would have my leg cut off. I don't know what this is, a clot, a cut nerve, but I am scared of also rejection, I have 3 autoimmune diseases, Lupus, APS, and Celiac, if anyone can help please do, for my doctor is not.
CD, New Jersey, USA, November 7, 2010

• Sarabulsara from New York -- it's unclear from your post -- it seems your husband's dentist has already identified a problem. Wouldn't this cavity be causing the pain? Is there a reson why it wasn't "filled or extracted"?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 29, 2010

• Hello from nyc, Hi my husband [47] had 2 stents put in lad in 2008. He is on plavix, toprol, aspirin, atacand and pravastatin. He is doing fine as far his health is concerned. He does his exercises everyday and does cardio as well. He had a wonderful recovery thank god and the doctors as well. But recently like 6-8 months he is having tooth pain like crazy and complains about head-ache on left side of the head. The dentist took the x-rays and asked him to get filling done or extract the tooth out. So he takes pain killers and the pain goes away for weeks or even months and it feels like the pain never existed. Since 2 days with the tooth ache, headache he felt tightening in his left side/chest in the morning 10/29/10. And he felt little bit difficulty breathing and end of the day he was ok. My concern is that == is it tooth ache possible with the "stent placement" or i am feeling edgy. Our kids are young 8 & 14 and so on our daily life problems. He found a job after 14 months and i am a stay home mom for kids and everything just adds on. Please reply soon to my concern question as i am feeling so scared and sad and can't stand him seeing in pain. Please please help. Thanx & I'll pray 4 all :)
Sarabulsara. Flushing, New York, USA, October 28, 2010

• CAM in Texas -- you write that you had a stent placed in 2007. Are you saying you've had a rash ever since -- for three years? And the weight gain -- was it sudden or gradual. Do you know the name of the stent. Wasit a drug-eluting stent??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 27, 2010

• On May 5, 2007 I had an emergency Cobalt and Chromium stent put in I have gained weight (bad!!!), I have a rash on my hand. The pain never really leaves not with meds, creams, ice. I am a hypersensitivity [gold eats my skin] have been after allergy shots as teen. The Doc just acted like he could not hear me when I ask about the rash and weight, then after 50 pounds said I needed to watch my weight. What can you tell me to help (would like to lose my hand sometimes HURTS).
CAM, Kerrville, Texas, USA, October 20, 2010

• debsfancys in Virginia -- have you discussed with your cardiologist the possibility of altering your medications? Fatigue, etc. is sometimes blamed on the stent but, if you began taking certain medications at the time of stent implantation, it is possible that your issues are drug-related. Patients sometimes have adverse reactions to statins, for example, etc. Discuss this possibility with your doctor.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 18, 2010

• i had a xience stent placed in lad i aug 2009, ever since I have been short of breath and total fatigue I have had 2 more caths and nothing shows up thank god, if I would have known this I would have taken my chances with the blockage.
debsfancys, Rice, Virginia, USA, October 13, 2010

• hi it's me again & just want to know has there any update on the legal matters of adverse effects on drug eluting stents/ breathing & chest pain & weakness.
bad stent 208, Washington, North Carolina, USA, October 12, 2010

• Amit from India -- you'd have to ask your father's cardiologist why a stent was implanted. He/she may be able to clarify why. As for infection, the stent eventually gets covered over by endothelial cells -- there's not really a risk of infection. Mainly the risk is that the stent will reblock (hopefully not) or that a blood clot may form inside the stent, which is why clopidogrel and aspirin are given until the stent "heals".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 11, 2010

• hi, i am concerned with the effects of stent a foreign material in the body. My dad suffered a silent heart attack some years back and had symptoms of chest pain recently . after angiography a des stent was put in , but i am not sure was it required because that portion of heart supplied by that artery has got damaged and can not be recovered . he still has mild chest pain and heaviness .i want to know that is there any risk of stent getting infected inside the body, and what could be done to eliminate the situation. thanks
amit kumar, Mumbai, India, October 10, 2010

• my husband had 3 Taxus stents placed in june 2010. since that time he has had facial swelling, severe hives, skin irritations, bruising, disorientation, confusion and other symptoms. we were told that it was more than likely an aspirin intolerance, but after 10 days of being completely off of aspirin, he is still in the same condition. prednisone has been given repeatedly (which helped in the beginning) but now seems to have no effect. is there anyone out there with answers? He is only 41 and can't work under these circumstances. i am concerned that the stents may be the problem, but doctors are dragging their feet about trying to find out. aren't they supposed to be saving lives? we were never given an option on what kind of stents to use. at the rate they are going, the stents may have been a waste of time and money.
toni, South Carolina, USA, September 26, 2010

• Dana from South Carolina, Kathy from Houston and others who have allergies to nickel, stainless steel, etc. -- check out the Forum Topic "Metal (Nickel) Allergies to Stents". There's unfortunately been little research on this topic. What studies there have been have not shown a correlation between metal allergies and stents. But we keep hearing from patients!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 5, 2010

• I had stents put in on May 13th 2010. I have had nothing but trouble since then. I am convinced that I am having an allergic reaction to the stents. I have developed an allergy to cherries and plums that I never had before. I am allergic to nickel which no one ever asked me about. I have felt terrible ever since I had this done. I am retaining water. Oh I forgot to mention that I am only 48 I feel awful all of the time. I am experiencing shortness of breath. I just had another heart cath done. My cardiologist said everything was fine. Now they want to test me for sleep apnea. I never had a problem before the stents. I am about ready to throw in the towel. It is really depressing.
Dana, Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA, September 1, 2010

• my mother had a promus stent in july and had to return to the hospital a week later due to fever and stayed in the hospital for another week. the fever came back and we had to take her back. now she has swelling in her legs, real bad itching and skin peeling all the time. does anyone else have this problem. we are trying to find a solution.
Delores, Texas, USA, August 22, 2010

• I'm a 36 year old female with a very strong family history of CAD (brother has had 2 bypass surgeries/3 heart attacks and is 42). My GF and uncle died of heart attacks in early 30's and father and other uncle have had heart attacks and bypass and have since passed away. Pretty bad. I have always had high chol< but have had good stress tests in the past. I had several severe episodes of angina and after another good stress test finally had to have an angiography. All 3 major vessels blocked (90%/80%/60%).4 drug eluting stents placed. I haven't been feeling very good, very tired, and had a lot of pain from the collagen plug placed in the groin. Now, a week later, I've broken out with terrible hives that are only minimally responsive to anti-histamines. I never considered a metal allergy but realized that I've never been able to wear stainless or silver jewelry (not even 10k gold). I have a bad reaction. I wonder if I'm having an allergy to the metals in the stent. I'm taking Plavix, zocor, and asa (but have taken all of these drugs about 10 years ago with no problem when i had dvt in my arm from a bad IV line. I see I'm not alone with all of the allergies.
Kathy, Houston, Texas, USA, July 22, 2010

• Theresa -- The PROMUS is a drug-eluting or "coated" stent -- it is the same stent as the XIENCE V (just manufactured by two different companies: Boston Scientific and Abbott). You're describing tissue build-up on the ends of the stent, also called "edge restenosis". This can be caused by many things, a stent that is not long enough and placed within the area of disease, an underexpanded stent, and biological processes relating to which artery, etc. Did the doctors use the term "late stent thrombosis" -- this is a rare occurence, and even rare with the new generation of drug-eluting stents like the PROMUS. But it may be that the stent just restenosed (tissue growth, as opposed to blood clotting). Check out our Forum Topic on "In-Stent Restenosis". We hope your dad is recovering.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 1, 2010

• My father had a Promus 3.0mm x 23mm stent placed in the Mid LAD of his heart on Sept. 16, 2009, Recently on 6/14/10 he had to have it removed and it was replaced with 2 more medicated stents in its place. He had a heart attack on the 6/13/10 and the cause was from the Promus stent. Apparently it was a non-coated stent and the wire mesh caused irritation on both ends of the stent placement causing scar tissue build up blocking the flow 99%. Has this ever occurred in anyone else?
Theresa, Upland, California, USA, June 15, 2010

• I had three TAXUS drug eluting stents (Paclitaxel) inserted in mid March, 2010. I was put on 75mg Plavix, one adult aspirin, and 25 mg Metoprolol Succ, each daily. Ten weeks later (end of May) I developed skin rash on my scalp, face, and neck, which spread within 3 days to my entire body. Suspecting it was poison ivy, I went to my dermatologist who immediately diagnosed me as having an extreme allergic reaction. He suggested I eliminate anything NEW within the last few weeks and see if the rash clears up. I called my cardiologist and he switched me from Plavix to Effient, but, that is just an educated guess - my allergy could also be Metoprolol and even the Paclitaxel from the stent. I also changed from Metoprolol to Toprol XL (I read that they are indeed different and Toprol XL is under tighter control during manufacture), and my rash remains the same after 1 day. I fear I am in for a nightmare trying to wait for this rash to go away, and, I am thinking it was unwise to have these drug eluting stents put in. I have little options now for relief. We should be specifically warned about possible allergies before inserting stents.
jerrylynnb, Ladonia, Texas, USA, June 2, 2010

• Barbara R. from South Carolina -- you experienced in-stent restenosis -- not common, but also not uncommon, around 5-10% for drug-eluting stents; higher for bare metal. There are multiple and complex reasons as to why stents reblock. It's often explained to lay people as "scar tissue" -- technically it's "neointimal hyperplasia" -- an overgrowth of the tissue that covers the metal struts of the stent. This is precisely the mechanism that drug-eluting stents were designed to minimize. But why this still happens to that 5-10% of patients is an issue still being studied. The good news is that treating the reblocked stent, either with a balloon or another stent or new techniques, is usually very successful. Check out our Forum Topic on "In-Stent Restenosis".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 1, 2010

• I posted September 27, 2009, Yes the stents were placed inside the previous stents since august they have restenosed again this time they placed cordis in the LAD in December and again in April 2010 they placed a promus inside the existing stents, I have had intermittent chest pain that feels like burning and I get extreme nausea and sweating with this also extreme exhaustion. have been told its not the heart but coronary artery spasms. They have me on plavix, aspirin 325, imdur 60mg 2x's, lopressor 100mg 2x's, norvasc 10mg 2x's, tekturna 300mg, spironolactone 25mg 2x's, avalide 300mg, kapidex 60mg, and crestor 10mg I was also told that the most recent blockage was scar tissue. Could any of this be due to sensitivity to the stents, (I also have started having arrhythmias since they were put in)
Barbara R., Columbia, South Carolina, USA, May 30, 2010

• I am a 48 year old female who just had (1 week ago) 2 stents put in my LAD had a 90% blockage. They used the XIENCE V stent which from what I understand is a drug eluting stent. Right after the procedure I started having bouts of hot spells which made my blood pressure go up. This lasted for about 24 hours. The doctors could not figure out what caused this. Now I just don't feel well. I called the doctors office and they put me on a beta blocker, because I kept having issues with my blood pressure going up. I still just don't feel well actually I felt better before I had the stents put in. I did some research on the stents that they used and found out that they have nickel in them. I am allergic to nickel and no one ever bothered to ask me this. I am wondering now if the stents are causing some type of allergic reaction. Can someone please let me know what kind of symptoms they have had.
Dana H., Simpsonville, Souh Carolina, USA, May 20, 2010

• Mrs. Davis -- for more info about tests, look over our special section, "Patient Guide to Heart Tests". A nuclear stress test may show if part of the heart is not getting enough blood flow (oxygen) -- where the deficit occurs gives a clue as to which artery may be blocked. A positive result usually means the cath lab is the next stop. Another test is the CT Angiogram, also non-invasive and, if done with the newer low-dose protocol, lower in radiation than a nuclear stress test. Also, it shows a picture of the arteries -- visual confirmation of blockages. Studies have shown it to be 98-99% accurate in ruling out blockages, and some cardiologists now feel it may be a better test for the intermediate patient than nuclear stress. But they are different and measure different things. Ask your cardiologist about a CTA -- and read over the interviews and articles in our special section. Ultimately the cath lab may be where the information is found out. One suggestion is that you also discuss the use of IVUS with your interventional cardiologist, if you go to the cath lab. It might be very helpful in yielding more information about the health of the arterial wall (see our IVUS Section). By the way -- a note to all readers -- the Dr. Feldman that Mrs. Davis refers to is Marc Feldman at the University of Texas in San Antonio and Angioplasty.Org is working with Dr. Feldman and his group in conducting research on DES hypersensitivity (see the stentstudy notice in the right column).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 28, 2010

• Followup to March 24 post: Dear Forum, w/o intention we have been changing interv/cardios like socks. We moved from Tx to Ks and had to change mid allergic reaction issues, the second cardio had a term/illness himself and quit practicing after our second visit. We went to UT to see DR. Feldman at the request of the third cardio, related to the allergy issue. Post Dr. Feldman and on f/u with the third cardio we found his wife died and he will be out for an extended period. So the 4th interv/cardio just 1 mo. after visiting Dr. Feldman, now says he believes recurrent shoulder pain, increased heart rate, combined w/ polymer reaction issue means the stent may be closing, scheduling a nuclear stress test, currently delayed due to thallium shortage in Wichita, but said we should probably expect to find an increasing blockage within the stent, then a trip to the cath lab to confirm and the probable choice of bypass or placing a stent in the stent, this time w/o polymer. I thought I understood a stress test could not confirm a problem inside a stent, but I have read so much and heard so much, I don't know anymore. He added metoprolol for interim relief. What should we be considering/asking/doing at this point?
Mrs. Davis, spouse, Caldwell, Kansas, USA, April 28, 2010

• I'm new to these stents I had one put in 4 weeks back march 2010 and another last Thursday April 15th 2010.Both were taxus drug eluting stents. I 'm on effient,lisinopril,325 aspirin,metoprolol,and lipitor.My problem is a little different I did have hives for a bit but not a problem now. I have occasional chest pain ( very minor ) but if feel better every day and I have been working 5-6 hrs. a day.My problem is sleeplessness I can sleep in the afternoon for 3-4 hrs. fine but when night time comes its a different story. I am trying t adjust time I take the drugs to help the sleep . i went to my dr and he put me on zolof and clonopen after second stent? worked good for a couple days then back to the sleeplessness. After the first stent I had really strange dreams and woke up exhausted when the second stent was installed I went 3 days with maybe 4 hrs. on restful sleep. That's where I at now I need to figure out how no get back to restful sleep. I think the drugs are my problem but don't have a clue what is right,I will discuss this on my follow up visit in a week we see what they have to say.
larry, 54 years old, Eau Claire, Michigan, USA, April 23, 2010

• My husband just returned from a visit with Dr. Feldman @ UT San Antonio. Well worth the 1500 mile trip. This is what we understand from that visit: He is allergic to the Promus stent, and the polymer is the culprit, the symptoms are NOT consistent with metal allergy. The 1 test that can determine in-stent symptoms is the OCT, and not available in the U.S. The stent CANNOT be removed. There are only about a hundred currently KNOWN cases between the U.S. and Europe. DES Stent Mfgs. see, hear, nor speak of any known evil. Stent allergies are bad for business and therefore generally do not exist and are blamed on the anything else, mainly Plavix, which is the last thing a DES patient should stop without a sufficient substitute. GOING IT ALONE ON ASPIRIN IS THE WORST ADVICE AVAILABLE!!! My husband has taken Prednisone for most of the last six months & is advised to stay on it 1yr, then wean off and see if the symptoms lessen as the immune system MAY adjust. Please post my email address (amstrustATliveDOTcom). I would not give medical advice, but six drs. later I can tell you how to be heard and if you even THINK YOU MAY have this problem; Better to risk being wrong and thought a fool, than quiet and dead!
Mrs. Davis, Caldwell, Kansas, USA, March 24, 2010

• I have recently had some luck with the drs. taking seriously the potential for a DES allergic reaction in my husband. His rash is so bad 2 of 3 drs. think the stent should be removed. He has also had an episode of chest pain, and increasing breathing issues and has less relief with each subsequent round of prednisone along with a more rapid and progressive return of symptoms with each dose reduction. I am anxious to see if there have been additional outcomes reported on your forum. Also my husband's dermatologist is putting a lot of effort into this issue and I think he would be happy to work with other such patients.
Mrs. Davis, spouse, Quinlan, Texas and Caldwell, Kansas, USA, January 20, 2010

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